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Depression & Anxiety


Depression & Anxiety

Everyone feels sad, empty or anxious at times. If these feelings persist and start to interfere with daily activities, you might be suffering from depression or anxiety. Women suffer from these common mood disorders twice as often as men.

What you can do to treat depression and anxiety

Arleen Fitzgerald

Read montly health blogs by Arleen Fitzgerald, L.I.C.S.W., Mental Health Consultant in our community.

Treatment typically depends on the type and severity of your depression or anxiety disorder. It's important to talk with a mental health professional for evaluation and specific treatment recommendations.

Treatment options for depression may include:

  • Exercise regularly, do things you enjoy and limit alcohol. For mild symptoms, this might be all it takes to help you feel better.
  • Stick to a routine of daily activities. Decreased activity and changes in routines can make depression worse.
  • Seek counseling. A mental health professional can help you identify and address underlying problems.
  • Ask your doctor if medication may help you. People with depression may benefit from prescription medications that address the chemical imbalance in their brains.

Take our depression assessment.

Treatment options for anxiety disorders may include:

  • Limit your alcohol intake. People with depression and anxiety disorders often self-medicate by drinking, which can make things worse.
  • Consider acupuncture. It may help relieve general anxiety disorder symptoms.
  • Try to relax. Relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing can reduce stress levels.
  • Ask your doctor if medication and therapy may help you. Treatment for serious anxiety disorders often involves a combination of medications and cognitive behavior therapy.

Test your knowledge about anxiety disorders.

And don't forget to ask your friends and family for help and encouragement. Creating a support network is vital to your recovery.

How to talk to your doctor

Depression and anxiety can affect you both emotionally and physically and may require treatment. Talk to your doctor and request a depression or anxiety screening if symptoms last more than two weeks.

Some common symptoms of depression are:

  • Loss of appetite or weight change
  • Feeling sad, anxious, empty, guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Fatigue, lack of energy or motivation
  • Sleep problems, including not being able to sleep, oversleeping or waking often
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Some common signs of anxiety are:

  • Constantly feeling on-edge, restless or worried
  • Unexplained sudden shaking or trembling
  • Frequent panic attacks (increased heart rate, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath or chest pain)
  • Irrational thoughts, fears or obsessions
  • Compulsive behaviors or rituals

If you or someone you know is suicidal, get emergency help immediately.